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Lack of Technical Expertise Has Fuelled Skills Shortage

A lack of technical expertise has fuelled skills shortages across the UK for the last two decades, according to analysis of the professional jobs market by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

APSCo cited a 1999 report from the University College London which found that 47% of all ‘skill-shortage vacancies’ that year could be attributed to a lack of technical expertise.

Meanwhile, current research from The Edge Foundation suggests that around half of all employers (51%) have been forced to leave a role open because there are no suitable candidates available, and that tech job vacancies are costing the UK economy £63 billion a year. LinkedIn data indicates that cloud and distributed computing is the most valued skill among employers, with user interface design, SEO/SEM marketing and mobile development also featuring in the top 10.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo, commented, “While the specific skills that employers are seeking have changed dramatically over the past two decades, the fact that talent gaps continue to be aligned with technical competencies suggests that we need to do more to boost Britain’s digital capabilities.”

“However, perhaps more importantly, we must pipeline the calibre and volume of skills we need for the future so that we break free from this perpetual skills shortage,” Swain said. “As this data indicates, for the past 20 years we have been playing catch-up – and we must break the cycle if individual businesses, and the wider UK economy, are to fulfil their full potential.”

The Apprenticeship Levy – introduced by the UK government to encourage greater investment in work-based training – hopes to reduce the skills shortage in the UK.

Impellam Group is an accredited Apprenticeship training provider across multiple sectors, including; Aeronautical Engineering, Management, Warehousing, Hospitality, Customer Service and Recruitment.

“We work with awarding bodies such as City and Guilds, NCFE, Skills First, CMI and the REC to deliver nationally recognised courses with industry specific qualifications. All of our Apprenticeship standards are bespoke to the client we work with and the learner completing the course. Our unique blend of delivery incorporates digital, 121 and classroom teaching methods with cutting edge technology. We’ve helped our clients retain their existing talent, recruit a new wave of candidates, and up-skill candidates that have since been promoted to more senior roles within their companies. Apprenticeships are a great way of succession planning - meaning clients don’t have to recruit from competitors, they just make their best - better!” – Matt Bungay, Impellam Group Director of Apprenticeships.

We also believe that managers make the difference. In 2017, the Impellam Virtuoso programme came into being, recognising that it is our managers who make the difference in building trust, relationships and better futures for our clients and candidates. Since the launch, around 400 managers have experienced the programme.

Jill Thornton, Director of Group Talent, explains: “The Virtuoso programme alters perspectives, helps our people to think laterally, and brings about a shift in mindsets to truly unlock potential.” Therefore, the more people that we have focused on embedding a culture of Virtuosity, founded on making and keeping promises to our customers, candidates and each other, the more robust our portfolio of businesses will be to face changing markets and ongoing uncertainty.

Looking forward, we anticipate continued market and technological disruption. On an ongoing basis, our management teams discuss and review market conditions and sales and account management pipelines in order to withstand challenging market conditions.

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